News & Politics

Oregon Governor Kate Brown Announces Outdoor Mask Order, Ban on Gatherings Larger Than 10 People

Oregon Governor Kate Brown (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)

At a press briefing on Monday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D-Portland) announced new statewide lockdown orders. These orders, which take effect Wednesday, include requiring face coverings outdoors where social distancing of at least six feet can’t be maintained, and a ban on gatherings of more than ten people.

OregonLive reported:

Brown announced the new measure as Oregon’s coronavirus transmission rate has increased dramatically and threatens to spiral out of control, with cases projected to triple in the next six weeks.

Just three days ago, state officials asked people to voluntarily limit indoor get togethers to no more than 10 because a growing number of cases were tied to exercise classes, fraternities, and bachelor or bachelorette parties.

“We reported more cases in the last week than we did in the entire month of May,” Brown said on Monday. “Half of all cases are from people under the age of 40 and one-third of all cases are from people under the age of 30.”

Brown threatened further orders if Oregonians refused to comply. “I hope I don’t have to go the route of Texas or California and close bars and restaurants,” she said, “but nothing is off the table.”

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Oregon has consistently ranked near the bottom in infection rate and death rate from the CCP coronavirus pandemic. Currently Oregon has the seventh-lowest per capita rate of infections of any U.S. state or territory, at 289 infections per 100,000 people. A total of 237 people have died of COVID-19 in Oregon as of July 13.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, just over 300,000 Oregonians have been tested for COVID-19, and 288,274 have come back negative. Out of 11,795 positive tests, 1,234 patients have ever been hospitalized.

The reporter for OregonLive pressed the governor on the plan for reopening schools in the fall:

The governor took several questions from reporters about what the fast rising case numbers, and new public health orders, could mean for the approaching school year. Brown insisted repeatedly that in contrast to her April order closing schools statewide, state and local officials will decide on a district-by-district level where it makes sense to return to in-person classes, stick with online and distance learning or use a hybrid approach.

“The reopening process will take a much more granular, targeted, localized approach,” Brown said. “It’s probably gonna look different in different districts. Some schools may be able to safely reopen in the fall. Some may have to go to a hybrid model, some in classroom and some online, and some school districts may have to go to fully online.”

When pressed by a reporter for specifics about what might prompt her to extend the statewide school closure, Brown declined to point to a single metric and Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen suggested it would be unwise to make such a commitment when researchers are rapidly learning more about the virus and its health effects.

Stats from the Oregon Health Authority show that the state currently has 155 people hospitalized with coronavirus, 50 in ICU, and 30 on ventilators.

Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff, and on Parler at @RealJeffReynolds.

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